| Share facebook | RSS


ambassador Report View

Air pollution in Algeria

by | 13-09-2015 02:41 recommendations 0

Around the world, air pollution phenomena are subject to monitoring programs, studies and research, given the risks they pose to health and the environment. It is time to assess the level of Algeria, the potential risks associated with pollution. Our country and our cities suffer particularly from visible pollution. Vehicles reject their flue gases, without any control and make a suffocating atmosphere in cities, Our waste is 50% collected and stored in uncontrolled sites, In sum, we are suffering the brunt of pollution that affects the air we breathe, the water we drink and the ground from which we derive our food.

This pollution is increasing with population growth and urban expansion that create a pressure of strong increasingly in resources, energy, transportation, soil and waste.

Air pollution in Algeria is caused by the transport sector in the large cities of Algiers, Oran and Constantine by burning municipal waste and by heavy industries in Annaba, Skikda, and Gazaouet


In Road traffic, because of the combustion of fuels, a number of pollutants are produced : nitrogen oxides (NOx) comprising nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitrogen monoxide (NO), carbon monoxide (CO), heavy metals like lead and dust, as unburned soot, hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide (CO2) and negligible amount of sulfur dioxide (SO2).

A pollution monitoring program due to road traffic has been implemented in the urban area east of Algiers by the Centre for Research on Hydrocarbons (CERHYD) and an environmental audit of the city of Oran was conducted in 1993 by a mission of METAP (Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Program). These program have shown that pollutants measured were mainly from automobiles, and the following results :

- Values of the concentration of nitrogen oxides from road traffic are close to Algiers and Oran confirming the exceeding of  standards set by WHO, particularly at rush hour traffic ,

- Ozone concentration follows that of nitrogen oxides and neighboring that of Algiers,

-  The concentration of carbon monoxide remains in the vicinity of the standard recommended by WHO,

-  Lead concentration above the WHO standard especially in low or calm wind.



In addition to the pollutants referred in the case of road traffic, landfills emit other pollutants such as acids, hydrochloric acid and hydrofluoric acid, volatile organic compounds (VOC) and semi-volatile (S-VOC) , dioxin, methane, sulfur dioxide in a large amount and many heavy metals.

A study conducted by CERHYD  (hydrocarbons research center) on the landfill of "Oued Smar" in Algiers, .this study showed an unfortunate reality, because in 1 km of the discharge, the concentration of pollutants is much higher than the exposure limit values (ELVs). Worse still, some toxic fumes exceed even the maximum rate allowed and this within a radius of 10 km around the landfill.

This is very dangerous for the health of the population living around the landfill.

Take the example of the landfill of "Oued Smar", it is indicated that on a radius of 1 km, the dust concentration is 780mg / m3 while the limit value is 10 mg / m3. The people around are suffering from serious health and breathing problems, concentration limits are not respected at all.



Algeria's industrialization took place under conditions that didn?t comply with environmental standards, which resulted in severe air pollution in the nearby areas of production units such as cement, petroleum refineries and units of plaster and lime ? Toxic fumes that come from these industries depend on the nature of its business units, their manufacturing process and raw materials they use. The city of Annaba is known by its two large industrial Complexes: the steel complex EL HADJAR, and ASMIDAL factory which producese phosphate and nitrogen fertilizers and contributes to air pollution.

A health survey  was conducted in the wilaya of Annaba  by the The Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine of the Teaching hospital of Annaba (four passages survey on a sample of 1,000 households equivalent to 6404 individuals). This study shows the severity of diseases and conditions of the city of Annaba in relation to the whole national territory, and the figures are serious, first of all, the two surveys shows that the disease rates are well above the authorized pollution , but disease  rates in annaba are much higher compared to percentages of the national territory. The city of Annaba recorded grave rates, industrial activity in the city is a very important part, but it creates serious consequences for the health of its population.


Forests and wooded areas around the cities and within play an important role in purifying the air from greenhouse gases, dust and suspended particles, especially in the industrial areas.

In Algeria, most of the forest trees are trees with Needle-Leaves  which can detain larger amounts of suspended particles in the air when compared to trees with flat leaves.

Forest fires are the second-largest source of particulate matter .They can have significant impacts on local air quality, visibility and human health. Emissions from forest fires can travel large distances, affecting air quality and human health far from the originating fires. These emissions include:

-particulate matter,

-carbon monoxide,

-atmospheric mercury,

-ozone-forming chemicals,

-volatile organic compounds.

In Sidi Bel Abbes State , where I live, it moving steadily towards maintaining in leading the national rankings in the field of forest fires and losses caused by it , and that after it already topped the list nationally in 2014, nearly 14 thousand hectares has devoured by flames. And 224 fires were recorded during the period from June to 25 August 2015.


Air pollution control  in Algeria :


The air quality is monitored by the network SAMASAFIA , managed by the National Observatory for Sustainable Development (ONED)  , it is composed of four surveillance networks established in capitals and on the outskirts of the wilayas of Oran, Algiers and Skikda Annaba. Each network consists of four surveillance stations.

- National legislation:

Air Quality: Article 10 of the Decree 03-10 and laws Executive 06-02 defining the limits values, alert thresholds and objectives of air quality.

- Legislation in terms of industrial emissions into the atmosphere :

Executive Decree 06-138 regulating the atmospheric emission from gases, fumes, vapors, liquid or solid particles, as well as the conditions which exert their control.

Executive Decree 07-299 laying down the procedures for applying the additional levy on air pollution from industrial sources

- Scientific research :

The Ministry of Environment funds for scientific research, and it is the only ministry which Requests for tenders for research projects and which funds university research teams, this will give the real situation of air pollution.

- Cleaner fuels :

Law No. 09/99 on energy conservation incites to promote cleaner fuels such as LPG liquefied petroleum gas (Sirghaz) and fuel gas (CNG). Our country introduced the LPG that do not sell very well abroad, in 1982. It would have been better if we could use it for our traffic. Naftal (the principal company selling petroleum-based fuels for domestic consumption) worked with the private to bring the kits for the dual-fuel petrol-Sirghaz. and the number of stations which deliver LPG is expanded.

there is 300 000 vehicles run on LPG , it is very low especially when making comparisons with other countries like: Turkey,  Poland and Pakistan.

- Transformation project of  "Oued Smar" discharge into a national park :

It was declared by an interministerial order on the initiative of the ministries of agriculture, interior and environment. It will be followed by a decree of public utility. The park will be spread over an area of 204 hectares in addition to the space of the discharge which is 50 hectares.


no image

  • Dormant user
  • recommend


  • says :
    well written. i hope with step by step things get better in algeria.
    Posted 17-09-2015 23:16

  • Luiz Bispo says :
    Thanks for introducing us about air pollution in Algeria. i hope that within close future the air becomes better. Keep sharing! =)
    Posted 15-09-2015 10:14

  • Arushi Madan says :
    Thanks for a vivid report with clearly mentioned causes and control measures . It is clear that air pollution is all across but glad to note few legislations in place but a lot needs to be done to encourage the use of public transport and hence reduce the emission/pollution due to increasing traffic on roads.
    Posted 14-09-2015 17:42

  • Rohan Kapur says :
    Well reported, supported by descriptive pics, Abdessamad. All the 4 listed causes are required to be controlled & are caused by humans.
    We must make all efforts to control them.
    Posted 13-09-2015 14:58

  • Sujan Adhikari says :
    Air pollution is a problem either it is low or high. Many control measures are adopted in Algeria. Well hope the pace continues.
    Posted 13-09-2015 14:37

Post a comment

Please sign in